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Blupete's Weekly Commentary

September 26th, 1999.

"The Teacher"

I wonder? What makes a person turn out to be either dependant or independent? Is it teachers? Or, is it, just a matter of genes? In any event, it matters not for much what the talent, penchant, ability and vocation of any particular student, a teacher is bound to effect the life-course of a child, whether healthy and well-formed, or not.

A teacher must have assiduous patience to know the character, gain the affection, and open the mind of his or her pupil. Thomas Fuller (1608-61) ranked the dispositions of scholars' natures into several forms:

  1. Those that are ingenious and industrious (To such nature show all gentleness) ...
  2. Those that are ingenious and idle. (They think they run with snails ... a good rod would finely take them napping.) ...
  3. Those that are dull and diligent (Many boys are muddy headed till they be clarified with age, and such afterwards prove best.)
  4. Those that are invincibly dull, and negligent (Shipwrights and boat makers will choose those crooked pieces of timber which other carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics which will not serve for scholars.)1


[1] "The Good Schoolmaster," as found in A Century of English Essays (Dent, Everyman's Lib., 1929), at p. 24-5.

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Peter Landry

September, 1999 (2019)